Current Exhibition

Emory & Henry Art Department
Student Exhibition 2024

March 18, 2024 to April 13, 2024
Artalk: March 18, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Take a Virtual Tour

Visual art students at Emory & Henry display a rare creative and entrepreneurial spirit that starts with a unique hands-on approach to learning from our award-winning faculty. This expertise carries on long after graduation and into the professional world. Each individual explores a rich array of approaches toward creating while investing original ideas through painting, drawing, photography, collage, graphic design, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, and any number of combinations of art-making techniques.

We are proud to present their research at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts.

Artist Statements

Rachel Alatorre

“Every animal is a gateway to the phenomenal world of the human spirit. What most fail to realize is that what they think of animals reflects the way they think of themselves.” – Ted Andrews, Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small

Composure, inkjet print, 11 x 17, 2023 Composure, inkjet print, 11” x 17”, 2023 The study of signs’ correlation with human behavior, known as semiology, is an integral part of my creative processes and final product. I spend much of my time researching and studying a variety of cultural understandings of artistic and natural elements through their histories and folklore. Semiology philosophies and theories focus on the concept of collective communication in which emotions, ideas, and events are effectively understood. It is this subconscious comprehensiveness I attempt to tap into through Wild Wisdom.

Many symbolisms are rooted in basic forms of nature, animals, colors, and shapes and come to in a variety of stories and arts. Storytelling and the use of animals and nature through creative expression captivated me when I was an infant, and thereafter I became obsessed with 2D animation, illustration, and zoology. My focus is intertwining references to traditional folklore revolving around animals by utilizing symbols and colors from a variety of cultures in my cards.

Ancient knowledge can reach through an animal medicine symbol and encourage emotional, mental, and spiritual growth and healing. Such symbols can stem from a variety of cultures and reach into the psychological, historical, and spiritual roots of an individual’s understanding. Despite the differences in civilizations, there continues to be the intrinsic knowledge of what they utilize and preach that ascends borders and bone, which is encapsulated within the realm of semiology: animals and nature. Graphic design allows me to explore these concepts creatively with the goal of positively influencing others through the ancient practice of animal medicine cards.

Emmett Donovan

Care, inkjet print, 24 x 30, 2023 Care, inkjet print, 24” x 30”, 2023 From the perspective of both a graphic designer and artist, I approach my work as a way to communicate a message. The pieces I create are vessels with one main purpose: transfer an idea from myself to you, the viewer. I view this as the core purpose of my work.

However, the assigned value of my work is a much more complicated discussion.

The dispute over “value” is one that both inspires me as much as it holds me back. In some ways, seeking to be considered “valuable” motivates me to push boundaries and create in new, innovative ways.

The question then becomes: Who decides what is valuable?

I believe that value is decided by the individual. Any attempt to assign a broad definition to what is “valuable” is impossible. What makes something valuable will come from within each person, and everyone will have a different understanding of the term. From the tallest trees on earth to the bacterium within them, there is purpose, meaning, and belonging.

Whether that purpose is valuable to one specific individual or not is irrelevant. That purpose exists if you can look close enough to find it.

Take, for example, the bugs around you. On first assumption, many think of bugs as having little purpose. Many approach them with an automatic attitude of distaste, disgust, or even hate. Bugs are the perfect example of looking at value in its most shallow level. Engaging with the lives of these creatures on a more personal, tactile level may illuminate their purpose, which is so often left shrouded in ignorance.

So through the creation of this set of works, I was able to reconsider the ways that these simple creatures have value. To reframe the conversation in a way that exhibits the values of these lives that we often know very little about.

Tristan Miller

Fill Tanks, archival pigment print, 24 x 16, 2023 Fill Tanks, archival pigment print, 24” x 16”, 2023 Since my earliest memories as a child, I have been fascinated by the loud, greasy, dirty, mechanical machines that glide upon the magic carpets of steel rails. These machines and their tracks stretch across the hills and valleys of my memories and hold a special place within my heart and soul. However, as I came of age and began experiencing more of what it is actually like to work and live with the railroad, I gained a greater understanding of who and what truly makes the railroads run as they have for nearly 200 years. From the days of the lumbering steam locomotives that gave rise to the diesel-electric engines of today, these machines are all impressive feats of human ingenuity. At the center of it all, no matter how the trains look, operate, where they run, or how they run, the people are the source of the souls that lie within these steel beasts.

Steam locomotives, in particular, are the most reliant on human involvement to keep them maintained and running as living artifacts of the past. Without the hardworking people who toil away on these machines, they are nothing more than collections of bolted and welded steel resting as an abstract art form. The dynamic between the people and their machines— the grit and grime, the sweat and steam—is the essence of what I have sought to capture in my work.

Utilizing digital photography, I actively attempt to capture the intimate moments of work taking place by these hard-working people. These moments of focus, interaction, and complexity are the superstructure of the compositional design that goes into each photograph. In a similar vein, the typography of each piece solidifies the content of the photographic compositions, making the actions of each clear and understandable. These people are working, completing a myriad of tasks that are all part of the machine itself. The photography and graphical elements seek to radiate this sense of connectedness and bring to the stage the amount of work and dedication that is needed to become one with these antiquated apparatuses. In the ever-changing, fast-paced world in which we live, sometimes society has a tendency to forget certain parts of the past. The chrononauts who maintain and operate these living, breathing artifacts are the people who intend to maintain their legacy to ensure they are not forgotten so that people can look back and truly see how far we have come.

Janey Nye

Mirror, Mirror, mixed media, 2023 Mirror, Mirror, mixed media, 2023 Little girls are often told that they can be whatever they want when they grow up. Although the possibilities may be endless, they can come at a cost to one’s sense of who they are, what they are willing to sacrifice for their goals, or their happiness. Ideals of picture perfect women and societal roles can serve as a barrier for women, holding individuals back from jobs, healthcare, and equal participation in a society that they have made many sacrifices for.

Today, I am incredibly proud of my femininity, but that wasn’t always the case. I find that I still worry about the looming expectations around me far too frequently. Growing up in a time with media and the internet surrounding me, these expectations were placed on so many of my role models. Witnessing these events unfold day after day, I realized more about what strength it can take just to be as a woman. As much as sharing common experiences with other women can be comforting, it also leaves me with a heavy feeling of melancholy at the shame that seems to loom around femininity and gender expectations as a whole.

Over the past several months, I have spoken with many women, including my sisters and close friends, and discussed with them their experiences with femininity, both positive and negative. As I wrote and thought about both the heartache and joy of these stories, I realized many common threads running throughout. I heard so many experiences of low self esteem, comparison, ridicule, misogyny, assault, and shame. However, through it all, a resounding sense of strength, resilience, and empathy shone through. Many of these stories revolved around the growing pains that accompany coming of age as a young woman. In each piece, I considered what it meant to me, and these women, to be feminine. My use of flowers not only represents the intricate nature and beauty of being feminine, but each plant and flower holds unique symbology that I use to represent the stories and emotions of myself and others.

Each individual woman has an extraordinarily unique story. I found the best way to display the diverse landscape of womanhood was through the use of several different materials and techniques. The delicacy of flowers and paper echo the beauty of the sensitive nature of feminine experience. Each plant and flower is unique and natural, and displays both the individuality and commonality of the female experience.

It is with these techniques that I aim to create an understanding and appreciation of these experiences, and allow for other women to see themselves in each work.

Jasmine Wiles

Big Shoes to Fill, oil on canvas, 18 x 22, 2023 Big Shoes to Fill, oil on canvas, 18” x 22”, 2023 I am a daughter. A daughter of a father. A daughter of The Father. My exhibition explores the

Christian belief of the resemblance of a worldly father and The Godly Father. I strive for each viewer to connect and understand if they have a relationship with both, one, or neither, and how that affects their view of a father based on my understanding of what a father is to me. To me, a father is true love, guidance, and protection, yet each individual has a unique perception of fatherly love. I compare a divine spiritual love to the responsibility of a father on earth. My work investigates the use of colors and symbols, for example: red in Look Up (Deceiving) and others represents temptation and evil, the birds in Open Arms represent reflection and the holy spirit, and I also make use of the gold chain in two works to represent distraction and comparison. I explore how earthly ephemeral love and spiritual everlasting love differ, but are also similar.

Through a combination of sculpture and painting, I strive to depict a visual story for viewers to see not only the beautiful gifts of a father, but the baggage that some may have to bury in order to fulfill that role. The intricacy and sophistication of fatherhood and masculinity are sometimes overlooked - which is why I seek to bring it to light. I sought to create a multitude of narratives that dissect fatherly love through the observation of my father’s, fatherly figures in my life, one’s closest to me, and my own experiences. A father’s responsibility to themselves as well as the privilege to raise a child are nonetheless demanding. Despite any fathers’ shortcomings, I want the viewer to see that fatherhood is a culmination of all histories, relationships, spiritual awareness, childhood experiences and/or lack thereof.

When creating my artwork, I consider possible trials and tribulations that fathers undergo or could face. I believe The Lord allowing a worldly man to father a child of God is a blessing beyond comprehension. I reflect on the blessing of having a worldly and Heavenly Father, as well as other strong fatherly figures. Some trials described in my work are temptation, conviction, distraction, and comparison - all rooting from a separation from the Lord’s path. My work displays my belief of how a father as well as a daughter can go astray from the path of the Lord, but our Godly father will lead without deception and only in righteousness